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AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability

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Our Top 3 'TO DOs' for a New Government

With the general election fast approaching, political parties are angling for votes and putting forward their version of where Ireland should be heading in the coming years. After discussions here in AHEAD HQ, we have put together our Top 3 'TO DOs' for a new government should prospective candidates come knocking on our doors. 

1. Ratify the UN Convention

The UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities was signed by Ireland almost 9 years ago but has still not yet been ratified in Irish legislation. This is an essential step in realising the rights of people with disabilities in Ireland to participate in all aspects of our society without fear of direct or indirect discrimination.

2. Introduce IEPs

Individual Education Plans or IEPs were made mandatory for students with disabilities under the 2004 EPSEN Act yet but we have yet to see them implemented in our school system. Recent research by AHEAD into the transition of Blind and Visually Impaired Students to 3rd Level Education identified the lack of IEP provision as the most significant challenge to ensuring appropriate access to supports and resources for students at post-primary level.

3. Bring in Part-Time Funding

Part-time 3rd level students with disabilities cannot currently access the Minister's Fund for Students with Disabilities, the mechanism which funds disability supports in college. The participation rate of Students with Disabilities in full time courses is almost 5 times the participation rate in part time courses. There are likely many complex reasons for this, but anecdotal evidence suggests that in many cases it may be due to the lack of funding for supports in the part time sector.

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